DESIGN Canberra Festival 2022

DESIGN Canberra | Media Release | Events

Presented by Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre, DESIGN Canberra 2022 explores the theme of Transformation, inviting audiences to speculate on how we might transform our city, our community and our world through design and creative practice.

With a program comprising talks, tours, exhibitions, public art installations, workshops and symposiums, DESIGN Canberra highlights in 2022 include keynote speeches by authors Elizabeth Farrelly and Tony Fry, as well as by artists Blanche Tilden and Tom Moore; an exhibition celebrating contemporary Italian design; open studio access to more than 77 Canberra-based artists and designers; public art installations; architecture talks and tours; hands-on ‘nurture’ making workshops; and a Bauhaus influenced exhibition of light works.

Jodie Cunningham, CEO and Artistic Director:

‘With a highly anticipated return to a full physical festival, this year’s program is delivered through collaboration between artists, designers, craftspeople, industry, sponsors, educational institutions, organisations and supporters – all of whom contribute to Canberra’s world class design community. After postponing the festival in 2021 due to the pandemic, we are excited to again showcase the work of Canberra’s talented artists and designers and to engage our community in important dialogue and programs that speak to our collective design futures.’

DESIGN Canberra invited Canberra sculptor Lucy Irvine – whose work transforms the traditional craft practice of weaving into sculptural installations – to be the 2022 designer-in-residence. Responding to the theme of Transformation, Irvine created a signature work for Festival titled ‘The Stills’ by revisiting two small sections of weaving, casting them in bronze, and employing repetition and pattern forming to show the iterative process of transformation. 

DESIGN Canberra 2022 designer-in-residence Lucy Irvine commented: ‘Our appreciation of transformation can too easily rely upon a definitive before and after. What if transformation could also be an ongoing process without a beginning or an end, existing in a million small interrelations that are, for example, happening long before the materials are in hand and long after the work is on the wall?’


The 2022 program represents DESIGN Canberra’s largest offering to date with highlights including:

● Symposiums – The Festival includes four symposiums with high profile keynote speakers including authors Elizabeth Farrelly and Tony Fry and artists Blanche Tilden and Tom Moore. These symposiums delve into dialogues around design futures, urban planning, craft and design practice and public art.

● Architecture talks – DESIGN Canberra’s Design Revisited series, supported by the Alistair Swayne Foundation is a unique opportunity to celebrate architectural history and design excellence in a city of design.

● Homelife Exhibition – supported by the Embassy of Italy, the IIC and the Prosecco Consortium, the Homelife Exhibition presented at Craft ACT celebrates contemporary Italian design and reveals how houses will evolve in the future.

● Architecture Tours – an opportunity to explore some of Canberra’s modernist architectural homes including Karma House by Derek Wrigley and Little Loft House being renovated by Lighthouse architecture and science.

● Open studios - more than 77 of Canberra’s best makers and designers are opening their studios during the Festival to give the public an opportunity to gain an insight into their practice, philosophy and techniques; and purchase contemporary handmade ceramics, furniture, textiles, glass, jewellery.

● Artists Talks – hear from the artists responsible for the Festival’s public art installations as they talk about their concepts and processes.

● Exhibitions at Canberra Contemporary Art Space – including Homelife, By Craft ACT members and Aurora by New Zealand Artist Tyler Jackson, a collection of light works designed with influence from the Bauhaus.

● Nurture workshops, making by hand for wellbeing – From ceramics to textiles, DESIGN Canberra offers a range of workshops for a hands-on experience, drawing on the well documented benefits of making and crafting as tools for health and wellbeing.

● Sunday Sessions at Commonwealth Place – each Sunday afternoon during the festival to enjoy art installations, exhibitions at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, live music, workshops and the Pop Inn Bar.

● Festival Hub Shop – a dedicated festival shop on Civic Square, supported by the Cultural Facilities Corporation, gives audiences access to unique, affordable objects – jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glass and wood homewares made by local artists and designers.

● 2022 Robert Foster F!NK National Metal Prize at Craft ACT – The inaugural award celebrating outstanding work in the field of contemporary metal working by designers and craftspeople.

● DESIGN Canberra Festival Hub in Civic Square – supported by the City Renewal Authority, including Festival Hub Shop, art installations, exhibitions, workshops and Friday Night CITY Sessions events.

● Discover: Craft + Design Public Art Trail – supported by the City Renewal Authority, visitors are invited to explore City West and discover the delights of the public art works. This project has given local craftspeople and designers the opportunity to be mentored by senior Canberra makers and explore the potential of making art for public spaces. Featuring artworks by Fran Romano, Hannah Quinlivan, Lan Nguyen Hoan, Rosie Armstrong, Sally Adair, Dam Sheppard, and Tony Burke who were mentored by Nick Stranks (Sam Tompkins (Digital Fabrication), Valerie Kirk (Textile) and Thor Diesendorf. MEDIA RELEASE – Embargoed until 6pm Wednesday 18 August 20222

● Design Canberra Dairy Road Market – a presentation of an enhanced selection of art and crafts by Craft ACT members in bespoke environments, wine tastings by Cellar Door, artworks from the Molonglo Art and Object Collection, freshly prepared food, live jazz and all-ages play activities by Green Hat Workshop. Many of the businesses at Dairy Road will be open and the Jerrabomberra Wetlands offer wonderful nature walks nearby.

● Creative Kids – This year, for the first time DESIGN Canberra includes programs for the whole family. Join with local artists to weave a bush animal, create with clay or imagine your future Canberra in our kids design thinking workshops.

● The DESIGN Canberra Creative Journaling Challenge – supported by Eckersley’s Art & Craft, aims to foster daily creative practice, enhancing wellbeing and connection. Each day from 2-20 November signed up participants will receive a prompt word to respond to in their journal and become eligible to win a cash prize of $2000 and Eckersley’s Art & Craft gift vouchers.

● Exhibitions at the Canberra Centre Monaro Mall – showcasing the best in contemporary woodwork, textiles and digital fabrication.

● Craft + Design Auction & Festival Closing Party – an opportunity to bid on unique objects by Canberra’s best makers.